Occupy Ottawa update: why they’re using gasoline

Following on my rather judgmental November 16 post, I just spoke to some of the protesters at Occupy Ottawa. Very friendly people. I asked about the gasoline generator that is providing power to the site: couldn’t they just plug into the grid? They told me the National Capital Commission (NCC), which owns Confederation Park, cut off power just a few days into the Occupation, which began on October 15.

So when I said in my November 16 post that the protesters had a choice of how to provide electricity to the site, that wasn’t exactly fair.

It would be great if somebody could round up some battery-powered uninterruptible power supply units, and extra (chargeable) batteries, so as to provide them with clean, cheap Ontario grid power.

Right now, by my calculation, it’s costing the protesters around 88 cents to get a kWh of energy from gasoline. (I assumed a price of $1.18 per liter of gasoline.)

Ontario grid electricity costs around 12 cents per kWh, if you just divide the amount owing on your bill by the number of kWhs you used in the billing period.

And of course the environmental benefits of grid power over gasoline-generated power are undeniable: 144 grams of CO2 per kWh for the grid; 2,100 for gasoline.

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[…] 16, 2011 by Steve Aplin This is the first of a three-article series. The other articles are “Occupy Ottawa update: why they’re using gasoline” and “Occupy Ottawa update II: it’s still possible to run on grid […]